Written by Maura Lodes, Studio M
Miniature gardening has proven to be so much more than just a come-and-go trend – it took the industry by storm and now it’s here to stay. If you’ve never heard of mini gardening (or fairy gardening, as some call it), or if you’ve been hesitant to get into this category, I’m here to help you jump on the bandwagon. Below you’ll find some tips on entering the category, increasing sales, and of course, merchandising!
What is Mini Gardening, Anyway?
If you’re unfamiliar with it, it’s a pretty simple concept to understand. Very similar to a full-size garden, a mini garden is a little landscape designed as a space for relaxation, creativity, and self-expression. They can be planted in the ground, but many people plant their mini gardens in containers of all shapes and sizes – from old suitcases to wooden drawers, the sky’s the limit. Miniature gardens are especially great for apartment dwellers, people who don’t have an outdoor gardening space, or for someone who wants to bring a little life to their office or workspace.
Let Your Displays Do All the Talking
The first thing you should know about selling this category is that display is key. If shoppers can’t see examples of a few mini gardens, they won’t fully understand the concept. As a busy independent retailer, you can’t always be there to explain this irresistibly fun hobby to shoppers – so let your displays do the talking for you. Put together a few simple gardens and really make a statement so that your display doesn’t get missed. These items are small, so it’s important that they can stand out among other products in your store!
TIP: If you’re worried about keeping your display gardens alive, keep in mind that you don’t have to use real plants! You can create a maintenance-free garden by putting a piece of Styrofoam in your container, covering it with fake moss, working in fake plants (fake succulents are great!), and then placing structures, accessories, picks, etc. in your garden display. You can also offer these tips to shoppers who have trouble keeping plants alive to remind them that mini gardening really is for everyone!
Round Out Your Offering
If you’re not sure about bringing mini gardening into your store, start by testing the waters. You don’t have to go deep into the category right off the bat, buy broad and get a little of everything to see what your customers like best. Make sure you have a few items of each type – structures, furniture/accessories, picks, and signs of life (animals or other creatures). If you want to set yourself up as a one-stop shop for mini gardening, you may also want to offer ground cover or landscaping materials. Bottom line, it’s important that you get enough products to really give the category a chance. Make a decently sized, creative display and see how shoppers react.
Big Benefits of Mini Gardening
I like to think of a mini garden as something that is always growing and changing. This is one of the top reasons retailers do so well with this category – the pieces become somewhat like collectibles and people always come back for more. A shopper might see an expansive miniature garden display in your store and be inspired to start their own garden, but they’ll probably just start out with a few items. Over time, they’ll come back to see what else they can add to their mini garden. Make sure you’re always stocked up on new products so your customers can keep their mini gardens growing!
TIP: Don’t forget about the seasonal aspect of this category! Mini gardening creates an opportunity for gardeners to have a little something that grows all year round. By adding themed items each season – like harvest, Halloween, or Christmas – your customers will be able to change things up and add festive décor to their mini gardens.
Mini gardening is a hobby that’s fun for people of all ages and skill levels, and this growing category shows no signs of slowing down. It’s a fantastic opportunity for all types of retailers, from garden centers to gift shops and everything in between. I hope this info will help you successfully launch this category in your store! Contact your Territory Manager for more info about Gypsy Garden!